Child Panels – what else can you do besides a Tee?

Child panels can be used for more than just Tee shirts. Here are some ideas to hopefully inspire you to use panels in other creative ways. We’ve put together a list of things you can do with child panels. At the end of the article you can find a gallery show casing some of these ideas. Don’t forget that we love to see your makes, share them in our Facebook group or on Instagram by tagging us @42customfabric or #42customfabric      

Firstly, what is a panel?

When we design our fabrics, we will often create a ‘panel’ which will complement the fabric design. All of our panels come in two sizes – child and adult.
  • Child panels are 48.5cm wide x 50cm high.
  • Adult panels are 74.5cm wide x 100cm high.
Because of the printing process and the nature of stretch fabrics, this can sometimes vary by a cm or two. Panels are most commonly used in tops, where the main fabric is replaced by the panel. The panel will form the front pattern piece of Tee shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and so on. You don’t have to just use them like this though.

Uses for Child Panels

So without further ado, here are our top ten ideas for using a child panel.
  1. Tee Shirt. As mentioned above, the original concept for panels was as a replacement for the front of a Tee Shirt. Sometimes you cannot beat the classic Tee.
  2. A Top with a Twist. You don’t have to put the panel on the front of a Tee, change things up by using it on the arm of a long sleeve top, the back of a Cardie, or the hood of a hoodie.
  3. Dresses. Ok, it’s a bit like a Tee, but there are so many patterns available for using a panel with a dress, and it increases the size range when you can add length with a skirt.
  4. Leggings. You don’t just have to use panels for the front of Tees, they can also be used for decorative bum panels, or even the legs of leggings.
  5. Shorts. You can use the panel as a leg on a pair of shorts.
  6. Rompers. Depending on the size you are making, you can fit a romper onto a child panel piece.
  7. Dribble Bibs. These are really eye-catching when you use the larger scale graphics that panels normally have.
  8. Bags. Providing you use a stable interfacing, knits can be used for bags. And child panels are the perfect size for a statement side to a bag.
  9. Sewing Machine Cover. Why not brighten your sewing room and look after your machine, with a custom made dust cover.
  10. Selfish Sews.  You might be thinking that child panels are too small for adult patterns. But with the right pattern and some blocking you can easily use a child panel to make something lovely for yourself.

What next?

You can visit our free pattern list, where you can find (you’ve guessed it) free patterns for a lot of the ideas listed here. And before you go, look through the gallery below for some visual inspiration. If you’re keen to get to work with child panels, you can checkout one of our in-stock panels today. Or consider joining our Panel Club and receive a child panel through your door each month for just £3.99 plus P&P (as well as some great other perks!)
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